Kooij ninth on first stage ZLM Tour
Surprisingly, the first bunch sprint of the ZLM Tour did not take place. Olav Ko...
Riejanne Markus finished fourth in the queen's stage of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. The Dutch champion of Team Jumbo-Visma made a good impression together with team-mate Kim Cadzow. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio won the stage.
Four riders broke away just before the first climb. The peloton with the Jumbo-Visma team thought that was enough and followed at four minutes. The race exploded on the Alto Tudons. Annemiek van Vleuten attacked, and Markus and Cadzow seemed to have to consolidate for a while. But in the blink of an eye, Cadzow had joined the leading trio. Markus was in the chasing group and followed at just under a minute. However, 21-year-old Cadzow had to let the lead group go on the descent and dropped back to her teammate. It was a battle all the way to the finish, and returning to the front proved not possible anymore. However, Markus managed to win the sprint.
"I was confident about the final, so I went for it."
"I'm happy”, Markus said. "I was able to keep up well on the climb. Unfortunately, it was not possible to jump with the three in front. Behind them, I was able to catch up and survive the climbs. I was confident about the final, so I went for it. Luckily I won the sprint. I am happy with fourth place.”
Race director Carmen Small was also pleased with her team's performance. "It was a good day for us. The focus was on Riejanne. We are not putting too much pressure on Kim yet. We will see how she takes everything. She attacked because, at one point, we wanted to make the race faster. The other teams had to chase. Kim rode very strong, and after her attack, she was able to help Riejanne in the final. In the end, the group was closer than I thought. You never know if we could have won, but overall it was a good final. We are progressing step by step.”